Suzanne Basso (Suzanne Margaret Basso)

Suzanne Basso

Basso was born on May 15, 1954 to a family from Schenectady, New York. She was one of eight children born to Florence (née Garrow) and John Richard Burns. Florence was the elder sister of spree killer Robert Garrow. Of the three girls in the family, she was the youngest.  She married a Marine named James Peek in the early 1970s. Her name became “Sue Peek” as a result of her marriage. Her daughter was born in 1973 and her son was born in 1974. Peek was arrested in 1982 for molesting the daughter and convicted of taking indecent liberties with a child. In the early 1990s Sue, James, and the children moved into one residence in Houston. The family changed its surname to O’Malley and adopted an Irish American identity. While in Houston she sometimes worked as a security guard in an apartment complex.  In 1993 Suzanne became romantically involved with a New Jersey man named Carmine Basso, who owned a company called Latin Security and Investigations Corp. She never divorced her husband and therefore was unable to marry Basso. Basso moved into the residence. James Peek stayed in the house for a period before moving to another residence in Houston. Despite being unable to marry Basso, Sue Peek changed her surname to Basso and began referring to Basso as her husband. Carmine Basso died in 1997.

The perpetrators forced Buddy Musso to do chores for them after he arrived at the Basso residence, and he had injuries before his murder took place.  Musso’s murder took place sixteen days after his arrival. According to James O’Malley (Basso’s son and one of the conspirators) Musso was killed at the apartment of Bernice Ahrens Miller, another co-conspirator. The group beat Musso, stomped on him and burned him with cigarettes as he sat on a child’s play mat. The group also used a wire brush on him. The group put him in a bathtub that was filled with kitchen cleaner and bleach. They put clothes on Musso’s body before leaving it in Galena Park, Texas. A jogger found the body and called police. The Galena Park Police Department ruled that Musso’s death was due to “multiple blunt impact trauma.”  The perpetrators included Basso, O’Malley, Miller, Miller’s children: Craig Ahrens and Hope Ahrens, and Hope Ahrens’ fiancé, Terence Singleton.

Mary Lou Keel, the Texas district judge, established that most of the suspects would get individual trials. The trial of James O’Malley was scheduled to begin on April 13, 1999. That of Craig Ahrens was scheduled to begin later that month. Bernice Miller and Terence Singleton were to be tried together during a trial beginning in May. The trial for Hope Ahrens was scheduled for June. The final trial, that of Suzanne Basso, was scheduled for July.  James O’Malley was convicted of capital murder and received a life sentence. Bernice Ahrens was convicted of murder and received 80 years in prison. Craig Ahrens was convicted of murder and received 60 years in prison. Terence Singleton was convicted of capital murder and received a life sentence. The trial for Hope Ahrens resulted in a hung jury but she took a plea deal in exchange for testifying against Basso. She received a 20 year sentence. Suzanne Basso was convicted and sentenced to death.  Basso was executed on February 5, 2014, at the Huntsville Unit of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. When asked if she had a last statement, she replied to the prison warden, “No, sir.” She was pronounced dead at 6:26 p.m. CST, eleven minutes after a lethal dose of the drug pentobarbital was administered.

More Images

  • Sue Basso, Susan Basso, Suzanne Basso O'Malley - CONTACT FILED:  SUSAN BASSO

Susan Basso in 232nd District Court. She is the alleged ringleader of a group that abducted, tortured and beat to death a mentally retarded man.  Basso is in a wheelchair, has lost 215 pounds since she has been in jail, and is quite sickly. HOUCHRON CAPTION (05/13/1999): Suspect Susan Basso makes a court appearance on Wednesday.

  • Capital murder trial of Susan Basso starts. Sue Basso, Susan Basso, Suzanne Basso O'Malley - CONTACT FILED:  SUSAN BASSO

Capital murder defendant Susan Basso, the woman accused of leading a group that killed a mentally impaired man,  appears in the 232nd Court on 8-16-99.   No testimony was given even though the jury was sworn in today.  HOUCHRON CAPTION (08/18/1999):  Basso. HOUCHRON CAPTION (08/20/1999): None.  HOUCHRON CAPTION (08/28/1999):  Prosecutors began presenting testimony on Friday in the punishment phase of Susan Basso's capital murder trial that painter her as a sinister con artist with several aliases.  HOUCHRON CAPTION (09/02/1999):  Susan Basso, 45, was painted in court as a cruel manipulator who abused her children and preyed on weak-minded people.


  • May, 15, 1954
  • USA
  • Schenectady, New York


  • February, 05, 2014
  • USA
  • Huntsville, Texas

Cause of Death

  • execution by lethal injection

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